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The 4 Levels of Nitrogen Response Ratings

December 20, 2017
This agronomic image shows Nk corn hybrids at a Grow More Experience site.

Since not all corn plants respond equally to nitrogen, the amount needed to produce a healthy crop can vary greatly by hybrid. The NK® agronomy team provides Hybrid Nitrogen Response Ratings as a resource to evaluate each hybrid, helping you understand what will work for your environment and management style. The 4 ratings for how hybrids respond to nitrogen are:

  • High: The hybrid responds to increased nitrogen better than most other hybrids, with a higher economic payback for the nitrogen investment made.
  • Moderate: The hybrid responds to increased nitrogen similarly to most other hybrids, so applying extra nitrogen or sidedressing should result in a noticeable yield difference.
  • Low: The hybrid responds to increased nitrogen less than most other hybrids, so making nitrogen investments wouldn’t deliver nearly as high of an ROI as the high or moderate ratings.
  • Very low: The hybrid responds considerably less than most other hybrids, so making additional or sidedress nitrogen applications would have very little economic benefit.

Soil type is another factor that can influence the availability and uptake of nitrogen by hybrids. Coarse textured soils have poor water and nutrient holding capacity, specifically nitrogen. This also means that cornfields planted on coarse-textured soils will typically experience a yield increase from adding additional nitrogen than fine-textured soils. Adding nitrogen or sidedressing a hybrid with a high nitrogen response rating would likely be recommended after a wet spring or particularly rainy spell.

When choosing a hybrid for the 2018 growing season, keep in mind the nitrogen hybrid ratings, soil types and other management needs specific to your farm. Speak with your NK® sales representative or NK retailer with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

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All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

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